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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 14, 2007 8:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

Interesting thread on Jerry and the Doors. I too was shocked to read of his disdain for Jim and the guys. His comments about 'what makes a band' (ie, the thin sound of their three piece arrangement) was so coincident to something I just experienced: watching the White Stripes DVD (2004, Blackpool)...THAT is a band (2!?!?) that I highly recommend everyone here see when given the chance (ie, these great DVDs--you really must 'see' them to believe them). Then, I watched Cream's DVD (last gig at AlHall in 68)--another minimalist band, but you must watch GBaker to 'see' an amazing drummer and his/her impact. Seeing what these folks do is almost as important as hearing them. I am not as sure that was the case with our boys, though of course I loved seeing them. And it's not the difference in stage antics and theatrics. Some bands simply have a lot of visual power to them, and some muscians have more compelling sound when associated with visuals...the power of Baker, the richness of his sound comes through much more powerfully when viewed; the elegance and simplicity of MegWhite comes across equally dramatically, though I would not place her in any 'top drummer' category, she is impressive...

My point is that WStripes proves a band without bass can be an amazing experience. Not that I am defending the Doors (though I am), I am really praising Jack & Meg.

I would put them at the top for sound of the past decade. And, I am suggesting that the visual is critical to some bands, an added critical element, but not so to others...

Morning after ramblings.

Continue.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 14, 2007 1:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

I agree that the Doors had a very thin sound (though they got better from when Jerry first saw them). I like the raga-rock guitar style, but they were definitely no Cream. And, for all their blues covers, I also think they have no blues feeling. But I do like some of their songs, especially live when the guitar-solos can stretch out.

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Oct 14, 2007 9:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

interesting comments re: White Stripes Mr. Tell ... i remember when i got back to the States in late '02, there was a bit of chatter about them in some of the music press that i read from time to time, and then one night while shooting pool across town, a song of theirs came on the juke; of course i had no idea it was the White Stripes, but i was so impressed i went to check out what song selection was playing; a few weeks later i went out and bought their album White Blood Cells, and pretty much got into it for awhile, but i don't know, i haven't really listened to it in a couple/few years; that of course isn't a comment on the band's talent, but more a comment i guess on where i am in terms of my listening pleasure; however, your thread has prompted me into digging around for that CD somewhere and i'll give it another listen; as for Jerry's comments on the Doors, i have to admit being surprised, as i do not believe i've ever read an interview where Jerry was so negative, however, i do like the Doors, and while i am not overly familiar with their live stuff (i own pretty much every studio release), i do have a copy of the Doors live at the Isle of Wight 8/31/70, and it's fantastic

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 14, 2007 9:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

Hey Arb--makes me think that in some ways Jerry was an idealist, a purist, when it comes to music/performance/etc. They didn't seem to go for theatrics, etc., but rather, just straight-up playing, with the music being all that was necessary...in a way, his reaction to Jim et al. makes sense in that he didn't see the substance there, only the 'show' and that rubbed him the wrong way. In spite of the DEAD having so much of a reputation vis a vis what they represented (counter culture, etc.), I do think that he viewed it as 'music is music' and the other 'show' antics of many performers unnecessary, over the top distractions.

Probably consistent with Jerry's oft discussed reluctance to comment on any and everything nonmusical (again, his view that all he was only a muscian and had no right to offer advice, etc., on any other subjects). Makes sense then that he would be uncomfortable with those that had significant 'showmanship' in their performance rather than barebones sound alone.

Babbling now...end.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Oct 14, 2007 9:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

I assume you both saw my recent postings of Jack White sitting in with Dylan in the past few weeks to play rarities since the White Stripes cancelled tour due to Meg's "acute anxiety"? Anyway, nice to see Mr. Tell recognizing their impact - sonically and visually. of course, they owe dexter romweber and the flat duo jets a world of thanks (which Jack has duly noted) and large debt of recognition, but glad to see folks getting into them. for a twofer, they make a world of noise.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 14, 2007 12:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

Yep--did; like the original WhStripes stuff a bit more than Jack's recent activities, BUT truthfully, haven't been exposed to it much. Takes me a few yrs--always catching up after folks make a splash, change to new approaches, etc. Defn worth keep an eye on him...

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Poster: blacklakelight Date: Oct 14, 2007 11:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?


Possibly a bit of territorial animosity (LA/San Fran) as well? I know Grace Slick also just despised the Doors, like thought they were the worst group ever. Me, I like a good bit of their stuff, a good bit not. I definitely see how they really were the forefathers of LA dark punk like X, Gun Club, etc. Sparse, brooding, repetitious, theatrical, with a real showman/shaman fronting the charge. Rosaries and homemade tattoos. Makes perfect sense that Manzerek produced X, and that X covered Soul Kitchen. (Although Gun Club covered Eskimo Blue Day, hmmm).

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Oct 14, 2007 2:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

I tend to believe Garcia's train of thought regarding the Doors, but not from a musical perspective as he would have us believe. In my mind, Garcia probably had a very sharp eye for the "authentic" versus the "contrived." This is not to say that the Doors were like the Monkees, but rather like a self described "art ensemble." (Without a bass player, clearly to Jerry's chagrin.)

I also believe that Jerry had little patience for the LA music scene. Much of it to do with the major record labels "Hollywood" mindset. There was also many comments on Weir going to LA to record "Heaven Help the Fool," which had no other members of the Dead contribute. (This, though was much later than the Doors issue.)

Ultimately, it never appeared to me as the Doors were any kind of threat to the well-being of the Dead - it does appear like Jerry had a stick up his ass for Morrison....and probably any band without a bass player. (This whole thing may be more about Phil than anything else.)

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Poster: He Live's Date: Oct 14, 2007 3:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

i think we're kind of missing the basic element/emotion at play on jerry's part -- a little bitter, a little jealous -- here's this group he feels in his gut is basically phony, a put-on, kind of gimmicky and not all that talented, or interesting....or extremely well versed in music history anyway, excpet for maybe manzarek....

morrison was pretty and all the girls drooled over him, the doors soon had hits like the dead never had, more acclaim and attention and far greater record sales...and here's the dead and jerry especially, really working their asses off playing upwards of 100 gigs a year...long gigs, with improvisation and risk-taking, living on the edge, life or death for the music....

jerry was too deep at this point to feel very kindly towards something he viewed as just more shallow pop music...and in particular, shallow pop music that was achieving success, at least partially, by apeing the dead's whole mystique -- the dead knew full-well they were the real deal -- PSYCHEDLIC PIONEERS PLOTTING JOURNEYS INTO THE OUTER COSMOS, BOTH TERRIFYING AND ENLIGHTENING....the doors paled in comparrison, but by some measures at the time, enjoyed greater success



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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 14, 2007 5:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

Thanks for the input, Earl & HL&A; spot on for both of you...consistent with my take on Jerry and his reaction. I might have a bit more interest in the Doors, BUT for the reasons you and others note above ("art" more than "music"). The "thin" part of the Doors I wholeheartedly agree with...Just as in the "fullness" of Cream's sound.

I can't say enough about Cream. And yes, I think folks are right--Jerry would probably like Jack & Meg.

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Oct 15, 2007 12:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

it must have really bugged Jerry, who cared what people thought about music,
to hear something like, "oh yeah, Muddy Waters is great, but have you heard The Doors?"

& so Grace Slick wasn't a Doors fan either?


Here's a semi-related example...

A friend of my dad saw lots of Fillmore, Avalon etc. shows from '66-'68. He had a lot of the old posters and a few hundred lps.

Around 1986, I was collecting '60s compilations and asked him about the groups on the Nuggets anthology.
I started mentioning a few of the bands, and didn't get any further than Count Five (Psychotic Reaction)...

he got negative, telling me they were garbage...
it was like I had offended him by even mentioning Count Five!

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Poster: He Live's Date: Oct 17, 2007 5:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

hey ...is the forum broke...?please reply so i get an email....

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 17, 2007 5:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

Absolutely broken! So, what is happening is that a few of us survivors, including SDH, JGlynn and Northstar, and Cush, have figured out that if you post, and then hit the "a response has been posted" email that you get at your email address, you can reply...but it is all very strange, almost creepy...a bunch of singular conversations, with lost of humorous jokes along the lines of Dr Strangelove and 28 days after...

You can also find out by going the regular route to the forum, click on names and see if they have posted on 10-17, and then go from there...

All very strange, BUT, I am glad to count you among the few, the chosen, the forumites of strength and will and fortitude...

William

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Oct 18, 2007 12:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

Count me a survivor too, Master Tell. It's only the transatlantic time difference that's kept me quiet thus far. I'm still here to vex you - never fear!

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 18, 2007 7:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

Hey! I almost emailed you to say "join us" but it was so strange...then, I thought...only if he "finds us naturally" (???) is it "right."

This is just too strange--a handful of one on one interactions. A few posters have checked in once, but otherwise, I think just SDH, JGl, Northstar and one or two others might pop in now and again.

The whole Dr Strangelove/28 days thing is really working as we make into "day II, post forum meltdown"...

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Oct 18, 2007 7:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

Greetings, friend Tell! Be interesting to see how much dead wood (as it were) gets weeded out by this temporary (we hope) withdrawal of normal service. Isn't it marvellous to be occupying these spam and troll free back channels? And pretty good to see a few diehards prepared to keep the lines of communication open whatever!

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 18, 2007 7:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

Yes indeed...really does one some good. You guys enjoy the 70s & 80s shows--and Kottke!

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Poster: northstar dead Date: Oct 17, 2007 7:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

Are we the last ones to survive the cosmic wipeout? That would be o.k.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 17, 2007 7:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

This is sooo strange. Just started a conversation with "Helives..." and along with you, SDH, Jglynn and Cush, I think that about covers the "survivors" as we might be viewed at this point.

Funny, really. Hope they get things straightened out soon.

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Oct 18, 2007 4:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: One piece, two piece, three piece more...what makes a band?

Hi Will and whoever else is around - Forum is still lights out I see. Well whoever sees this a Big thanks to whoever it was who recommended the 10/17/83 yesterday - I liked it so much I put it right on Disk and started listening to it again in the car (much better sound than the PC). Oh and I still highly recommend the 10-17-72 show to anyone who has not heard it yet.

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Poster: He Live's Date: Oct 14, 2007 12:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Quality NOT Quantity...what makes a band?

i think jerry was spot on...and over time the doors' music has held up less well than almost all of their contemporaries. they were a second tier pop band that come along at just the right time and scored big with some big hits. they sound so dated now. i liked "the end" and stuff when i was twelve. that's about it...no need to revisit.

as far as i know jerry never made any value judgments about number of pieces, he cites the cream etc. as successful 3 pieces. i think his comments are very specific to the doors. certainly he would view the white stripes on their own merits...obviously, the stripes have the specific elements garcia found wanting in the doors.




(For those of you that haven't read the interview here's a bit.)

JERRY GARCIA, in an interview with blair jackson and david gans, june 11, 1981:

"I never like the doors, found them terribly offensive....when we played with them. It was back when Morrison was just a pure Mick Jagger copy. Not vocally, but his moves....He use to move around a lot, before he earned a reputation as a poet, which I thought was really not deserved. Rimbaud was great at eighteen, nineteen, and Verlaine. Those guys were great. Fuckin' Jim Morrison wasn't great, I'm sorry...

I could never see what it was about the Doors. They had a very brittle sound live, a three piece band with no bass...It sounded very brittle and sharp-edged to me, not something i enjoyed listening to.

I kind of appreciated some of the stuff that they did later, and i appreciated a certain amount of Morrison's shear craziness, that's always a good trait in rock and roll...

I was never really attracted to their music at all, so I couldn't really find anything to like about them. When we played with them I think I watched the first tune or two and then I went upstairs and fooled with my guitar. There was nothing there that I wanted to know about. He was so patently an imitation of Mick Jagger it was offensive. To me, when the Doors played San Francisco, it typified Los Angeles coming to San Francisco, which I equated with having the right look but zero substance....I've always looked for something else in music and whatever it was, they didn't have it. They didn't have anything of blues for example, in their sound or feel...."

Jackson: "Did you sense the negativity?"

Garcia: "No, not really. All i sensed was sham. As far as I was concerned it was just surface and no substance. Then we played with them after the "Light My Fire" thing when they were headliners. We opened for them in Santa Barbara some years later, when they were a little more powerful. Their sound had gotten better...but it was still thin. It wasn't a successful version of a three piece band like the Who or Jimi Hendrix, or Cream or any other guitar power-trio-type three piece bands. It's an interesting concept - a three-piece that's keyboard, guitar and drums - but it was missing some element that I felt was vital....When they were the headliners, it was kind of embarassing for us to open for them, 'cause we sort of blew them off the stand with just sheer power. What we had wth the double drums and Phil's bass playing -- it got somewhere, and when they played there was anticlimax kind of feeling to it, even with their hits."


This post was modified by He Live's on 2007-10-14 19:10:13

DAMNIT...now i see mcghan already posted the same shit...oh well!

This post was modified by He Live's on 2007-10-14 19:18:33

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